Rare Florida sparrow makes a comeback

A rare bird in Florida is staging a remarkable comeback thanks to a reintroduction effort intended to boost its numbers in the wild. Only about 80 Florida grasshopper sparrows remained in the wild in 2019 when state and federal wildlife agencies embarked on an effort to help the bird recover. Now its population has topped 120, thanks to the release of captive-raised sparrows that have successfully bred with wild birds. “We often just see them and don’t really think of them as released birds. And that’s a great thing, right?,” Juan Oteyza, of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, tells Orlando public radio station WMFE. “They just incorporated into the wild population really well.” One of North America’s most endangered birds, the Florida grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum floridanus) occupies central Florida prairies, which are disappearing due to urban development.

Read more, or listen to the story, on WMFE.

Header Image: The Florida grasshopper sparrow is one of North America’s most endangered birds.
Credit: MyFWC Florida Fish and Wildlife